Author: Setayesh Kazempoor
Published: January 28, 2021
Thank you so much to the author, Setayesh Kazempoor, for providing a free copy of her short story, A Bite of Revenge, in exchange for an honest review.
The world has formed a treaty with aliens. The Aliens get to borrow Earth’s culture and the humans get to borrow their technology. The FBI with their new found technology is set in catching a mysterious thief that authorities couldn’t quite seem to catch due to the false information trailing behind her.
A Bite of Revenge is a short sci-fi story that prods about the education system and students forcing themselves into degree programs that they do not like due to the lack of funds. I am not exactly sure how the education system works in this world or wherever the author based this system but let us just say that I related to some degree. Although it kind of irked me that for someone who studies a business degree
(business is a pretty diverse program as well so the character’s degree program is vague) they would learn the first moment in their freshman year that it’s not just working in fast food restaurants. Is that a stereotype somewhere? Because I haven’t heard of it and it sounds ridiculous.
There is also a cliché rich girl vs poor girl arc here and although it points out a part of the reality in college, it doesn’t do anything to move forward the story and it could have been done less. The background of the main character and her reasons for taking the road she took just didn’t fit well. For someone of her situation, you’d think she’d be intelligent enough to become better at her craft and avoid getting caught but she basically laid herself in a silver platter.
I know there are some society issues underneath the whole story that it tries to catch the reader’s attention
(or could it be me just overthinking the whole thing) but it is overshadowed by the story’s execution. There are parts that could have been done better such as better characterization of the main characters that justifies her action, less on the cliches and stereotypes, and better build up to the end.
What I loved about it though was the prose, it was wonderfully written. The ideas for this sci-fi world were also good and it would have been nicer if we got to delve in deeper. I think it would do well if the sci-fi aspects of this short story becomes a base for a novel. The premise is actually nice, the main character and her characterization just overshadowed everything, including the magnificent world it built which was a loss.